Saturday was a wild day in college basketball for the Big 12. The top teams in the league all flexed their muscle, while the shuffling towards the bottom looks to continue for the next two weeks of the regular season.
#1 Kansas (22-4, 11-2)
The Jayhawks are looking to lock up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament after beating West Virginia on the glass and in the paint on Saturday. Kansas sits two games ahead of Texas Tech and Baylor in the Big 12 standings and look to be the No. 1 seed heading into Kansas City in a couple of weeks. Bill Self’s crew is not the best offensive team, but if they can get enough, their defense can carry them in March.
#2 Baylor (22-6, 10-4)
Baylor just keeps on winning. The Bears have had injury trouble throughout the season, but they continue to just find ways to win. They did that exact thing on Saturday, beating TCU without Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer. The Bears have won three of their last four with the only loss coming on the road against Texas Tech.
#3 Texas Tech (22-5, 10-4)
The job Mark Adams has done this year is nothing short of remarkable. Adams was accompanied by many Red Raider faithful whom traveled to Austin on Saturday to watch their team sweep their former coach Chris Beard’s Longhorns. Texas Tech plays a physical brand of defense and defense travels in March.
#4 Texas (19-8, 8-6)
The Longhorns have split their last six games, with the three losses coming to Baylor and Texas Tech twice. Texas did beat Kansas during the stretch, and won a thriller earlier this week against Oklahoma. Texas has the talent to take them as far as anyone in this league, but it just comes down to a matter of execution. Texas is just playing for NCAA Tournament seeding at this point and have TCU and West Virginia on the schedule this week.
#5 Kansas State (14-12, 6-8)
The bottom half of the conference has been a complete cluster and that shows no signs of letting up. Only two games in the loss column separates Kansas State and West Virginia who is last in the conference. The Wildcats are firmly in bubble discussion (just like the rest of the teams from here on out), but they lost a close game in overtime to Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Wildcats still have to travel to Lubbock and Lawrence, so splitting their last four games might be best case scenario.
#6 Oklahoma State (13-13, 6-8)
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, their season is coming to a for sure end on Mar. 5, as they are banned from postseason competition. Oklahoma State has continued to play hard in the face of major adversity this season and they could have the chance to play spoiler to Oklahoma and Iowa State down the stretch of the season.
#7 TCU (16-8, 5-7)
The Horned Frogs are currently slated as in the NCAA Tournament according to bracket projections. TCU has three straight games and due to COVID-19 issues earlier this season, they are in a stretch of seven games in two weeks. TCU plays West Virginia, Texas, and Texas Tech this week at home. It is safe to say the Horned Frogs’ season will be decided before we get to Kansas City.
#8 Iowa State (18-9, 5-9)
That undefeated start Iowa State had that had them in the top 10 in polls seems like such a distant memory, but that start is still helping them in NCAA Tournament projections. The Cyclones have won two straight against TCU and Oklahoma and are now set to play three of their final five games at home, while their only road game being against Kansas State. Iowa State can solidify themselves in the 68-team field sooner rather than later.
#9 Oklahoma (14-13, 4-10)
The Sooners have lost three straight, yet still find themselves on the safe side of the bubble as of now. Oklahoma has to travel to Lubbock on Tuesday, but gets to come home to face a Oklahoma State team they lost to earlier this season. Oklahoma is treading water on the bubble, and a win on Tuesday against the Red Raiders would go a long way for their tournament hopes.
#10 West Virginia (14-12, 3-10)
The West Virginia offense is a mystery. They have two scorers, but struggle to get them open looks and then struggle to score the ball. The Mountaineers have five games remaining and currently do not find themselves in any NCAA Tournament projections. Win four of your last five though, and that conversation might be a little different.
Photo by Wesley Shoemaker, Blue Gold Sports